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Dispute Prevention and Dispute Resolution - Legislative Report

Legislative Report consisting of data from special education local plan areas (SELPAs) regarding the $100 million dollar apportionment distributed in October of 2021.

California Department of Education
Report to the California State Legislature and the Department of Finance;
Special Education Dispute Prevention and Dispute Resolution Apportionment

Executive Summary

This report is a requirement of Assembly Bill (AB) 130 (Ch. 44, Stats. 2021), Section 160. AB 130 is the Education Finance: Education Omnibus budget trailer bill. This bill provided provisions and funding for different educational areas in response to difficulties arising from the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.

AB 130 Section 160 provided $100 million for the special education local plan areas (SELPAs) for dispute prevention and dispute resolution (DPDR) in special education. The SELPAs received these funds in October 2021 based on a per pupil calculation. Eighty percent of the funds were required to be distributed to member local educational agencies (LEAs), and all LEAs had until September 30, 2023, to fully encumber funds. All of the SELPAs were required to submit a final report detailing the proposed usage of funds to the California Department of Education (CDE) as well as demographic and narrative data of the programs and activities that were funded. The average amount of funding received per SELPA was $737,790. Of the $100 million allocated, the SELPAs reported spending an average of 75 percent of funds on activities to promote dispute resolution and prevention in special education.

A main goal of DPDR was ensuring that the needs of students with disabilities are met effectively while minimizing conflicts and disputes within the special education process and decreasing the number of due process filings and Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) cases. The SELPA data showed that throughout California, there were over 9,138 disputes handled, and 7,898 cases were fully resolved within the active dispute resolution and dispute prevention activities. Proponents of DPDR funds note that efforts to mitigate escalation can prevent costly legal fees and undue media attention from a hearing or trial. There are no known oppositions to these funds. Participation in the DPDR activities does not mean that parents, guardians, or LEAs are exempt from any law or regulations in place regarding the individualized education program (IEP) process.

If you have any questions regarding this report, please contact John Burch, Education Administrator I, Special Education Division, by phone at 916-445-4891 or by email at

You will find this report on the CDE Special Education Laws, Regulations, and Policies web page. If you need a copy of this report, please contact Samantha Roan, Education Programs Consultant, Special Education Division, by phone at 916-327-3674 or by email at

Dispute Prevention and Dispute Resolution Apportionment Legislative Report (DOCX)

Questions:   John Burch | | 916-445-4891
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 14, 2024
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